Weekly Review — December 15, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

President Barack Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo and used his acceptance speech to justify American military dominance, imperial conquest, and the ethical value of violence. The United States, he said, is “morally justified” in attacking other nations, and is in fact the “standard bearer” for wars that have “helped underwrite global security” with “the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.”NY TimesObama’s domestic approval rating declined to 47 percent,Fox News via DrudgeKarl Rove predicted that the Democrats would shortly cease to be “masters of the political universe,” Wall Street Journaland the New York Times suggested that Obama and his wife consider “closing the kimono” on their private lives.NY TimesIn Iran college students staged protests against the government, chanting “Death to the dictator,” and “This is the last warning,” and burning images of Ayatollah Khomeini.NY TimesDanish security forces completed preparations for the Copenhagen climate summit by constructing security fences, establishing a detention center in a former beer warehouse, and spending a total of $122 million to ensure that conference attendees will not be forced to interact with the public. NY TimesKenyans, considered Africa’s worst-dressed people, were embracing fashion;BBCDubai’s stock market fell 6 percent;BBCand in the Pakistani city of Lahore, simultaneous bombs blasts at a bank and a police station killed at least ten people.BBCIn Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces, and Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador, were reportedly looking for their “happy place,”NY Timesand in Iraq, the announcement by the Presidency Council that parliamentary elections would take place on March 6 was immediately followed by five bomb blasts in Baghdad–at least three of them by suicide attackers–killing more than 120 people. At a mosque in northeast Baghdad, a woman, her arms and legs burned by an explosion, shouted, “Are we cursed? When will we be finished with this election issue?”NY TimesMyanmar and Vietnam pledged to cooperate in their efforts to suppress religion.Vietnam Plus

U.S. Senator Harry Reid compared the Republican opponents of health-care reform with earlier conservatives who had fought against civil rights, women’s rights, and a congressional acknowledgment of the wrongs of slavery. “Instead of joining us on the right side of history,” Reid said, “all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘Slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right.” Fox NewsUnemployment continued to disproportionately impact African Americans. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “We’re so focused on ‘too big to fail’ that we’re treating this issue as ‘too little to matter’ . . . the army of the unemployed is growing darker by the month.”CNNAsians and blacks were alienated by Tiger Woods’s predilection for white women,ABC NewsBayer recalled 100,000 packages of Alka-Seltzer,LA Timesand the television soap opera “As the World Turns” was cancelled.Entertainment WeeklyAmericans seemed unperturbed by the prospect of Lou Dobbs as a candidate for the presidency of the United States,.NY Times Magzinethe EPA declared greenhouse gases dangerous to human health,LA Timesarchaeologists confirmed that ancient Germans were cannibals,BBC and British entomologists used a vacuum-like device called a “pooter” to capture 150 escaped cave spiders that had been squatting in an estate in North Yorkshire. BBC

American diplomatic officials in Pakistan warned their counterparts that if attacks against the Taliban were not increased “the United States would have do it themselves,” and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates traveled to Afghanistan to assure President Hamid Karzai that America would “never turn its back” on Afghanistan, despite plans to begin removing combat troops within 18 months.NY TimesCNNThe Philippines placed Muslim areas of the country under martial law,CNNand the U.S. Bureau of Land Management unveiled a plan to kill or relocate 25,000 highly reproductive wild mustangs in Nevada to avoid a famine that could be caused by their swelling numbers.Yahoo NewsPop singer and drug addict George Michael instructed Sir Elton John to “get on with his own life.” BBC A 53-year-old Florida woman was arrested for abusing her boyfriend with a raw steak;The Smoking Gun via Drudgegrave robbers looted the tomb of Tassos Papadopoulos, the former president of Cyprus;NY Timesa train operator in London advised his passengers to kill themselves;Telegraph via Drudgeand ambulance workers in Newmarket, England, dropped and killed a 420-pound man.BBC via DrudgeSwine flu claimed its 10,000th victim in the United States.NY TimesThe Hubble Telescope captured invisible light stretched by the expanding universe.Space Fellowship

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